Hungary’s leader calls on Russia and the United States to hold negotiations to end the Ukraine war.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the European Union needs a new strategy on the war in Ukraine because punitive sanctions against Moscow have not worked.
“There is a need for a new strategy that focuses peace talks and crafts a good peace proposal … rather than winning the war,” Orban said in a speech in Romania on Saturday.
Orban, who was re-elected to a fourth consecutive term in April, has assured that Hungary – a NATO member – will stay out of the war in neighboring Ukraine.
It faces its toughest challenge since taking power in 2010, with double-digit inflation, a weak forint, and European Union money still stuck amid a row with Brussels over democratic standards.
Orban has previously said Hungary is not ready to support a European ban or restrictions on Russian gas imports because that would undermine its economy, which relies heavily on Russian gas imports.
In his speech, he said the Western strategy on Ukraine was built on four pillars – that Ukraine could win a war against Russia with NATO weapons, that sanctions would weaken Russia and destabilize its leadership, that sanctions would hurt Russia more than Europe, and that the world would line up to support Europe.
This strategy has failed with governments in Europe collapsing “like dominoes,” Orban said, energy prices have risen, and a new strategy is needed now.
“We are sitting in a car with punctured tires: it is absolutely clear that the war cannot be won in this way,” Urban told his supporters.
He said Ukraine would not win the war in this way “simply because the Russian army has unequal dominance”.
Orban demanded that Russia and the United States conduct negotiations to end the war.
He said that “only Russian-American talks can put an end to the conflict because Russia wants security guarantees” that only Washington can provide.
He also criticized Western leaders for ignoring Russia’s security concerns prior to the invasion of Moscow.
With the President of the United States [Donald] Trump and the German chancellor [Angela] Merkel, this war would never have happened.
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